Who is Chef
Prior to Spiaggia, Joe worked in other great Chicago kitchens, starting with his Grandma Mary's. That's where Joe fell in love with cooking — handmade pastas, ravioli, pizza. Joe formalized his culinary skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and continued to sharpen his skills alongside Chicago's most prestigious chefs, including Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat, Art Smith at Table Fifty-Two, and Bill Kim at bellyQ. Joe has also staged in some of Italy's best kitchens including Glass Hostaria in Rome and Del Pescatore in Mantova. He's cooked for presidents, celebrities, the James Beard Foundation and more. But his favorite person to cook for is his wife/roommate, Hillary.
In his free time, Joe enjoys #dayoffing with Hillary and their newborn son, Luka, who is already the size of a 15-pound Italian beef sandwich and just as awesome.
Spiaggia sets the standard for Italian dining, earning Michelin stars, four-star reviews, and international awards. With Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano, Joe leads the culinary vision as Executive Chef. Spiaggia offers guests a peerless experience that honors the heritage of Italy. Inspired by Manutano and Flamm’s journey through Italy, it begins with the country’s finest ingredients.
Café Spiaggia is a local gathering spot offering casual Italian fare by Chefs Tony and Joe. With shared plates, handmade pastas, a selection of bottled cocktails and a global wine list hand-selected by Sommelier Rachael Lowe — Food & Wine Magazine’s Top Sommeliers of 2016 — Cafe guests enjoy a warm, welcoming environment and top-class hospitality.
Top Chef Season 15 shot in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Joe went out west ready for an experience he later learned you really can’t be ready for. In a true cauliflower tragedy, he was cut from the competition and sent to Last Chance Kitchen. Here, he reconnected to his true voice: “smart, beautiful, concise food.” And it worked. And he came back in a tiny cowboy hat and he “f*cking won.” We didn’t burn down Chicago, but it hasn’t stopped being fun.